Whether you’re strolling around the shops or looking for a quite bite on your lunch break, Mayfair is stuffed full of fantastic spots serving lovely lunches. From sushi to salad, there’s something for every taste and budget. It’s important to fuel up for the afternoon ahead of you, after all.
The empire of Nobu spans the globe and has become one of the most recognised names in Japanese cuisine. The Mayfair offering of the restaurant overlooks Hyde Park and is the top place to come if you want to enjoy fish that sparkles with freshness in the heart of London. Open for lunch and dinner, Nobu offers signature dishes including yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño, tiradito Nobu-style, and black cod with miso. The lunchtime bento box offering is good value, and you’ll be in and out in an hour for one of the best lunches in the capital.
This upscale deli is a charming spot to stop for lunch. There’s a great range of hearty salads, sandwiches, soups and meat dishes, all served with hot drinks from London-based roaster Volcano Coffee Works. Definitely leave room for dessert, as the deli serves up a delectable range of cakes every day such as its not-to-be-missed carrot cake. You can dine inside the cosy interior or outside on the terrace and, during the summer months, the deli offers a number of summer hampers and picnics perfect for a lazy summer’s day in the park.
To bill yourselves as London’s leading traditional afternoon tea is a bold claim, but one that Claridge’s can declare with assurance, seeing as they’ve been serving it to the people of London and beyond for more than 150 years. Packed with elegance, sophistication and extravagance, Claridge’s afternoon tea surpasses all expectations. Sit back and marvel at the world-renowned hotel’s 1930s inspired art-deco foyer as you indulge in one of England’s finest traditions.
Burger & Lobster offers just three categories of entrée: gourmet burgers, lobster rolls and whole lobsters, fresh from the tank. We say order the whole lobster and go to town; it comes with a choice of unmissable buttery sauces. The lobsters are flown in from Canada and, with such a limited menu, the restaurant owners are able to focus on excellence. However, if you’re not feeling fish, the burger is also a solid choice. As you can’t book a table, it’s a good bet to head down at lunchtime, rather than early evening, to avoid the queues.
If you’re looking for a lunch that will nourish rather than weigh you down, head to this café created by popular internet healthy eating queen Deliciously Ella. Serving only vegetarian and vegan food, the range of soups, stews and salads are crammed with vegetables, pulses and grains and are just the thing to eat when you feel like life has thrown too many cheeseburgers your way recently. The range of juices and unusual drinks (turmeric latte, anyone?) will make your afternoon a productive one.
Jason Atherton’s pièce de résistance Pollen Street Social is slick and smart, giving you full-on Michelin vibes from the moment you walk in the door. Lunch is a great deal, with two courses for £37. The fare is modern British, with a focus on seasonality and twists on traditional dishes. One of the highlights is the dessert bar, where pastry chefs will whip up a dessert before your very eyes.
This intimate, sleek, wood-panelled restaurant focuses on Japanese small plates and sushi. The intimate venue is full of cosy nooks ideal for a lunch of perfectly prepared raw fish. If you don’t have to go back to work, the cocktails are great and use sake innovatively. Make sure to order the scallops, which come butter-soft, and don’t overlook the vegetable dishes, which are carefully prepared and will leave you more in love with broccoli than you thought possible.
Forget your local curry house, this is Indian food gone luxe. The owners have clearly drawn inspiration from Indian colonial clubs, with marble table tops and retro ceiling fans featuring as part of the interior decor. Order a quinine sour (a G&T flavoured with ginger, lemon and curry leaf) while you peruse the menu. Anything’s a sure-fire winner, just don’t expect them to have your favourite chicken balti. This is regional Indian home cooking at its best, and the restaurant’s tandoori grill means everything is served up with a deliciously smoky flavour.
If you want seafood, you can’t beat Scott’s. Originally opened as an oyster warehouse in 1851, this stalwart of the London restaurant scene is where you head if you want to eat the very best scallops, langoustine and dressed crab. They’re specialists at caviar, so if there’s ever a time to try it, it’s now. If the weather’s nice, grab a white-linened table outside and watch the world go by while you shake Tabasco onto your oysters.